The delivery of my first child, although harder than I imagined, wasn't anything spectacular. I'm sure it's a level 5 on the grand scale of 1-10, as nothing out of the ordinary happened. Sure, it was painful and gross and beautiful, but I got through feeling like I'd just conquered a super villain. All in all, it was OK. There are some labor and delivery moments I'd love to forget with the birth of my second child, though. In using the aforementioned scale, I'd rate the experience a solid 500 for reasons I'm still not over.
My sweet boy was born on his sister's birthday, exactly five years later. It was a cold Ohio day, early in the fall, and while I was induced for medical reasons (just as I had with his sister), this birth would be anything but ordinary or typical. What started in an eerily similar way ended up being an event for the strong-willed (hint: that wasn't me). There are many things about those days (three days in labor) I'd really love to forget. However, I can't. They've stained my memory for all time.
There's a saying that giving birth is the most painful thing you'll go through but the easiest to forget. While I'd have agreed after my firstborn, I just can't with my youngest. Because, no. With that, here are some of the moments I can't get out of my head (but wish everyone else would).
I Pooped While Pushing
While the exiting of feces is not uncommon during childbirth, it's still humiliating when it happens. It's difficult to restrain a body that's in full push action not to poop or pee or really anything it feels like because there's such a loss of control. I mean, it's a human being literally forcing his or her way out of your body, so there's bound to be some kind of accident. My mom tells the tale of when I was born. In those days, it was much less sophisticated. She was bound to a gurney and pooped all over herself before I emerged. Hi, Mom!
For me, the nurse was quick to, uh, wipe up my mess, but my partner was there! And my mom! And my mother-in-law! Can we just pretend everyone looked away? Please and thank you.
My Mom Saw My Lady Parts
Along with the poopage, one of the biggest moments I'd love to forget would be that of my mom's eyes down to where my babies came barreling through. Yes, my vagina. My mom has seen it and while it's also natural to want your mother there to support the delivery, I'd rather her, or my mother-in-law for that matter (yikes), have never seen me or my parts. It's not something that's easily forgotten, though one can hope.
The Screaming That "Scared Other Patients"
I was in so much pain through the birth of my son when the contractions strengthened (even after an epidural, mind you), I couldn't contain the screaming. Loud, guttural screaming. My mother-in-law, and nurses, had the nerve to tell me to keep it down because I was scaring other patients on the floor. Uh, no? Let me just forget anyone said that because if it hurts, I'm going to scream and if you don't like it, bye.
I Almost Passed Out
As the pushing (and screaming) progressed, there came a point when I nearly fainted. My oxygen was so low, they put a mask on me. I dazed in and out of consciousness, with only vague sounds of nurses telling me to keep pushing. I know my mom was at my side, my partner held a leg, and the rest? Don't completely remember. I think I lost half an hour of my life murmuring strings of regret but, unfortunately, it wasn't the most painful parts. Once my son crowned I was fully coherent, though I wished I didn't have to be. It was much more fun feeling unaware of who I was, where I was, and how much everything hurt.
The Umbilical Cord Snapped
If I could forget any part of labor and delivery, it would be this. The very moment my son burst through, the umbilical cord — which had been on the verge of breaking apart, apparently — snapped so violently, it whipped blood across the entire room. I wish I were exaggerating but my photos prove what my memory fails to fill in. It was so "impressive" nurses called in other nurses and doctors to witness the massacre. Then, from the shock of nearly dying from a bleed out, they slapped that oxygen mask back on while they cleaned things (me) up.
Once I was alert again, they calmly (but braggingly) explained the cord could've snapped in utero, killing both my son and me (if I'd bled out). I remember feeling a wash of relief as they quickly worked to revive him. He'd lost oxygen through that mess, too. But once I held him, all I saw was the blood. Why, of all things, is that what I remember most?
With any pregnancy, labor and delivery, there's going to be some great stuff and some pretty terrible stuff. Some of which I'd love to never think about again (all of the above). But in the end, I have two amazing kids, so I guess it was all worth it.